Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New book: Zombie Capitalism


New from Bookmarks Publications:
Zombie Capitalism: Global crisis and the relevance of Marx by Chris Harman.


A major new study of capitalism from Marx to the 21st century
Faced with the financial crisis that began in 2007 some economic commentators began to talk of ‘zombie banks’, financial institutions that were in an ‘undead’ state incapable of fulfilling any positive function but representing a threat to everything else. However 21st century capitalism as a whole is a zombie system dead to achieving human goals and responding to human feelings but capable of sudden spurts of activity that cause chaos all around. Chris Harman shows how Marx’s understanding of capitalism is essential for any explanation of how this world emerged and developed over the last century and a half. He shows that the roots of the crisis today lie not in financial speculation but much deeper in a crisis of profitability which 30 years of the neoliberal offensive have failed to reverse. The future of the system will not be a return to steady growth but repeated instability and upheaval, together with a rising ecological crisis. Finally he looks the force in society capable of ending the rule of capital — the global working class.

Praise for Zombie Capitalism:
'A powerful, comprehensive and accessible critique of capitalism from
one of the world’s pre-eminent Marxist economists. This book needs to
be read far and wide. It is a clear, incisive warning of the massive
dangers posed by a "runaway system" and the threat it poses for the
future of humanity.'

Graham Turner, author of Credit Crunch: Housing Bubbles, Globalisation and the Worldwide Economic Crisis

'Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the present
crisis and its place in the history of capitalism and an important
contribution to Marxist political economy.'

Alex Callinicos, Professor of European Studies, King’s College London

Edited to add: A review in Socialist Review.

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